Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Right to Life of Michigan is kicking off its canvassing efforts Wednesday. 

The group will start collecting signatures for ballot initiative. It would ban an abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation, or D&E. The procedure is most commonly used in the second trimester. The measure would make it a crime for doctors to perform the procedure, unless the life of the mother was at risk.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’s angry with the Republican-led state Legislature. 

That’s because it won’t be holding a session for the next two weeks – and it hasn’t finalized the budget.

“No one in Michigan, no one in any other field is allowed to go on a vacation until they get their work done. They’re expected to work and stay at the job until they’ve gotten their work done. That’s exactly what we need to demand of our leaders in Lansing as well,” she says.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether to take a case to determine whether it’s ever appropriate for state money to go to private and parochial schools.

Michigan public school groups and the ACLU are challenging budget bills that were approved by Republican legislatures and then-Governor Rick Snyder. They allow a small amount of money to reimburse private schools for some expenses.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A technology upgrade that’s supposed to help consumers threatens to shut down the system for keeping track of felons and sex offenders who’ve been released from prison.

Electronic tethers that keep track of offenders could go dark at the end of the year.

The state Corrections Department keeps track of 4,600 offenders using electronic tethers.

Chris Gautz is with the department. He says the tethers are attached to Verizon’s 3-G network that’s supposed to go dark at the end of the year, to be replaced by the 4-G network.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a spending bill worth more than $28 million.

The money will be distributed to a variety of areas. That includes funding for implementing parts of the new Lead and Copper Rule for drinking water. The $3 million for the Lead and Copper Rule will be used for things like water filters and drinking water investigations in homes.

The money is also being used for the Double Up Food Bucks program and the state’s Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation fund.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   An especially wet spring has spelled trouble for some Michigan farmers. Now the state Legislature has passed a measure that supporters say will help out. 

The House and Senate approved a spending bill Thursday that supporters say would help farmers. It would put 15 million dollars into a program that distributes low-interest loans. Those loans are for growers, processors and handlers who lost their crops.

Republican Representative Mark Huizenga is a bill sponsor. He says this will help a lot of struggling farmers.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she has yet to hear a serious alternative to her proposal to boost the fuel tax to pay for road repairs. 

According to Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta, she says any plan that does not raise new revenue for roads is not acceptable.

Governor Whitmer addressed a small business convention Thursday, where she said Michigan’s been moving around pots of money without actually increasing spending on roads and bridges. And now she says Michigan’s roads are ranked among the worst in the country.

Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Education advocates – from teachers to lunch staff – filled the state Capitol lawn Tuesday. 

The state school aid budget is still being worked out by lawmakers in the Legislature, but protesters at the Capitol want to make sure that the final product has enough money for K-12 schools.

Donna Jackson is the president of a Detroit union that represents paraprofessionals – or school staff. She says she wants the Legislature to adopt Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s spending plan. And the half billion dollars in additional money it calls for.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   State Attorney General Dana Nessel says a state commission is not bound by a formal opinion that prevents investigations into LGBTQ discrimination. 

Last year then-Attorney General Bill Schuette issued an opinion. It said that the Michigan Civil Rights Commission could not interpret the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity protections.

DNR warns of electrocution on water-swollen lakes

Jun 19, 2019

INTERLOCHEN, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says current high water levels increase the risk of electric shock drowning. 

Interlochen Public Radio’s Dan Wanschura reports that’s when a person comes into contact with an electric current in the water.

That electric current is caused by faulty or exposed wiring from boats and docks.

Things like frayed electrical cords or household extension cords that aren’t meant for use on the water.